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“Is My Mic On?”
Dominican Associate Class of 2022 Prepares for “Hybrid” Formation

Just as parents and students know what “hybrid learning” is, so does the new class of Springfield Dominican Associate candidates.


The Dominican Family has room for everyone. Two Springfield Dominican Sisters and two associates answer the question “What attracted you to the Dominican Family?” Hear stories from associates Vicki Schmidt and Kara Mernaugh and Sisters Bernice Juip and Denise Glazik about how being Dominican enriches and shapes their lives. Follow F.L.O.W.cast Listen for weekly episodes. 


Ten candidates in this year’s class gathered in person at Sacred Heart Convent, and virtually, for the first time on Sunday, Sept. 19. They were welcomed by Sister M. Joan Sorge, program director, and the sisters who will serve as their sponsors throughout an eight-month program of formation in Dominican life, spirituality, prayer, and history.

Their first session began with Sister Marilyn Jean Runkel sharing the stories of St. Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers, and St. Catherine of Siena, perhaps the most famous lay Dominican, saint, mystic, and Doctor of the Church. (Check out Sister Marilyn Jean's podcast episode here)

Next month’s session will be fully virtual as Springfield Dominican Associate candidates join for the first time ever with candidates from other Dominican congregations to study together the charism of the order. Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Miriam Brown will be the presenter.

“Pandemic rules have altered the way the associate program is organized—with positive results,” Sister M. Joan remarked. “I find it more fulfilling when people can be together in the same space for conversation, study and prayer, but the ability to connect through videoconferencing makes it possible for us to welcome people at a distance as well.”

This year’s class includes 7 candidates from the Springfield metro area and 3 candidates from further afield in Wheaton and Peru, Ill., and Columbia, Mo.

New candidates will be accepted through the end of September. Anyone curious about whether the Springfield Dominican Associate program is right for them this fall is encouraged to call Sister M. Joan at 217-787-0481, or fill out the contact form below, to learn more.

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